BEIJING, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Archaeologists say they're rushing to collect relics in northwestern China before the area is flooded to store water in a massive water-diversion project.
Since an emergency salvage program was launched seven years ago in the city of Danjiangkou, excavations have been carried out in 123 archaeological sites and 35,000 items have been unearthed, the Henan provincial cultural relics bureau said.
Archaeologists said another four archaeological sites needed to be excavated before the program finishes at the end of this year and a 150-square-mile area is inundated in 2014 to store water from the Hanjiang River, a major tributary of the Yangtze River.
The reservoir will supply water through canals and pipelines currently under construction to water-starved northern regions, including Beijing and Tianjin, China's state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.
The relic-rich Danjiangkou area, located at the junction of Henan, Shaanxi and Hubei provinces, is the birthplace of the Neolithic Yangshao culture and the ancient Chu culture, archaeologists said.